Yesterday I finally stopped in to Banzai and Miyamoto in Westmount/NDG, Montreal. I was hoping for a lot when I went to them seeing as all the forums say to go there if you want to find bento in Montreal. I ended up being dissapointed at both of their selections of bento, but I did make some purchases.
First I went to Banzai which is on boul Decarie and rue Sherbrooke Ouest (2120 boulevard Decarie, Montreal, H4A 3J3, t: 514.484.4529) right beside the Play it Again Sports. It looks like it is going to be small from the outside but the inside is rather huge. On the right I found a number of kitchen supplies including frying pans, tea sets, accessories, etc, and Bento! Their selection was rather limited however. They sell Lock&Lock, and similar brands for 40$-60$ (including a HUGE Lock&Lock for picnic/family size). The also sell a lot of the children PORORO bento and cups, etc. However, they also had another bento that came in either pink or blue, one tier, with build in separation, that featured either an otter or dolphin stencil on it for $2.99! So at that price (In Montreal?!) I couldn’t resist, and purchased the pink one. I did see that the blue dolphin one was also priced at 6.99$ but the size didn’t seem to be any different so I don’t know what that was about. The lid is loose so you would have to have an elastic band to keep it secure because you can easily lift of the lid. But for 2.99$ how could you say no? The dolphin one was blue with darker blue dolphins painted on. I didn’t think it was that cute, but if your are a dolphin person maybe you would like it. I didn’t see any bento accessories at all, and when I asked the gentleman working didn’t know what I was referring to. I also found, for the first time ever, chopsticks with the Lucky Cat image on them(!!) for 2.99$. When I got them out of the package they have a rough texture to them as well. I wish I ended up buying another set. I also found some great bamboo (maybe?) food picks for 1.99$ that are perhaps too long for a bento but would look really pretty at a dinner party. You can see those in the very first image. Banzai also had a massive selection of fresh, frozen and packaged foods, and overall was very inexpensive on everything. I definitely suggest people to visit if they are in the area, but I would say that (at least when I went), their bento selection was nothing special.
Then I walked over to Miyamoto on Victoria Ave just off of rue Sherbrooke Ouest, which is small, but has a beautiful selection of tea/cooking sets in the back (all very pricey however). I searched all the store shelves looking for bento or bento accessories and was about to leave when, near the counter, I saw a small shelf with, among books, tea sets, etc, were two bento boxes, one long and narrow and one round and more fat, both one tier, with accompanying elastic band, for 25$ each (both were black with a red/white pattern on the lid). They looked good quality (better than my otter bento), but were too pricey for me. I didn’t make any purchases in Miyamoto but it was good to at least see what they had. Lots of food and kitchenware but not enough bento. If your in the area stop by an look, at least for their neat kitchenware.
So to date, I have accumulated five bento boxes (4 in the last week :P). My first was the blue Urara dragonfly bento that I purchased off of ebay, then I purchased the three Glit&Brillia hot pink and green bento (as well as hot dog cutter) at J-Town mall in GTA Toronto, and finally the otter bento from Banzai. Check out my previous posts to find out more about the other places I have found bento and my experience with them. Good luck with your Hunt!